Home   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Histon manager Lance Key aware team’s fortunes need to change soon after difficult start to new season





Lance Key has been involved in football long enough to know that if he is unable to turn around Histon’s faltering start to the new season then he could well pay the ultimate price and lose his job as manager.

The Stutes headed into the 2023/24 campaign full of optimism following a bright end to the previous term.

And having brought the likes of Ed Rolph, Rob Ruddy and Danny Gould back into the fold at Bridge Road, Key made no secret of the fact that the club was looking to finish within the United Counties Football League Premier Division’s play-off places.

Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Lance Key. Picture: Keith Heppell
Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Lance Key. Picture: Keith Heppell

But while it may well still be very early days, with Histon sitting bottom after losing five and drawing the other two of their opening seven fixtures, the top five places currently look a long way off.

Histon’s latest defeat – 5-1 at home to leaders Newport Pagnell Town at the weekend – was particularly galling and it left the boss under no illusions regarding his future.

Key, who has been in charge since 2016, said: “There was some real belief and optimism in pre-season.

Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Charlie Tunnell. Picture: Keith Heppell
Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Charlie Tunnell. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We were confident with the players we’d added and retained that the we’d push for the play-offs and while you can never say never, it gets tougher with each bad result.

“You’ve got to be a realist in football. I’ve been involved in it for a long, long time and I know our jobs are on the line.

“You have to win games as a manager, it’s as simple as that. I’ve had the backing of the board but it’s down to me, my coaching team and the players to turn this around.”

The absences of key players during the opening weeks of the new season have not helped Histon’s cause, yet Key believes that it is a mental issue as opposed to anything technical or tactical that has been their greatest hindrance.

Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Ollie Brookes. Picture: Keith Heppell
Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Ollie Brookes. Picture: Keith Heppell

His side have shipped 17 goals in the league so far this term, with a further six being conceded in cup fixtures.

He added: “We’ve struggled with knocks and people working their way back to fitness, but we can’t make excuses like that.

“At times we’ve played well for 45 minutes but been unable to sustain it and then other times we’ve not turned up.

“On Saturday we’ve gifted Newport Pagnell all five goals and that summed it up – it’s the way we’ve been defending off the ball.

Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Max York. Picture: Keith Heppell
Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Max York. Picture: Keith Heppell

“It comes down to concentration levels. We’ve conceded far too many rubbish goals and it’s not been down to technical ability or desire, it’s down to switching off and not concentrating.

“There’s going to be periods in most games where opposition teams get on top of you and you have to find a way to deal with it. We did that in the second half of last season but it hasn’t happened so far.

“Even against Yarmouth (in the FA Vase, 4-3 win) we’ve come out on top but that should have been so much more comfortable.

“It’s down to us now. It’s been a poor start so we’ve got roll our sleeves up and start switching on for 90 minutes.”

Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Charlie Tunnell. Picture: Keith Heppell
Histon FC v Newport Pagnell, Charlie Tunnell. Picture: Keith Heppell

Histon’s focus on Saturday (September 9) will switch to a home League Cup tie against Birstall United Social.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More